Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

Español  Contact

Species: Amblyraja radiata, Starry Skate, Thorny Skate

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

disc rhomboidal, corners angular
snout short, firm
disc: central row 9-34 very large thorns - nape to D
disc covered in thorns
tail short, stout



Amblyraja radiata (Donovan, 1808)

Thorny Skate, Starry Skate

Body thick; disc rhomboidal, outer corners angular; front edge of disc undulating in male; tail short, stout, < disc length; snout short, bluntly angled, its tip firm due to broad tapering snout cartilage; front pectoral fin rays distinctly separate from tip of snout; two lobes of pelvic fins connected by membrane; entire upper surface of disc rough with thorns with ribbed bases, many small thorns scattered over snout and pectorals; most of disc and tail with coarse denticles; large ribbed thorns around eyes & spiracles, on nape and shoulders; center of disc with a row of 9-34 very large thorns (with star-shaped, ribbed bases) from nape to 1st dorsal fin, number of those thorns varies geographically; claspers (sex organs) of mature males large, with club-shaped widened tip.

Upper surface uniform brown, or brown with darker mottling and a few pale blotches, often with rosettes of blackish dots; lower surface white, occasionally with sooty blotches and indistinct grey margins; pores on underside of disc not darkly pigmented.

Reach 110 cm, maximum varies geographically; reaches 16 y.

Benthic on continental shelf and slope

Depth range 18-1540, mainly 27-439 m; in the south limited to the deeper part of this range

Both sides of the north Atlantic; Greenland to South Carolina, rare south of Cape Hatteras.

High Resolution Map Download

Species Data Create Report Export as Word File Export as Excel File
  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • In & Offshore
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom only
  • Mud
FishBase Habitat
  • Bathydemersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Sea-stars/cucumbers/urchins
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Data
  • No pelagic larva
  • No pelagic phase
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • Transatlantic (East+West Atlantic)
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • Extends North of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • All species
  • Vagrant
Climate Zone
  • Temperate (>35N)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Vulnerable
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 110
Depth Range Min
  • 18
Depth Range Max
  • 1540